Helping English Learners Find Their Voice

Making Complex Texts Accessible to English Learners

English learners are a growing part of the student population nationwide. As educators, we strive to teach these students to speak, listen, read, and write English as effectively and quickly as possible. Even for the most experienced educators, this can be a daunting task.

The good news is that there are many ways to ensure English learners are engaged and participating. By involving them in conversations about texts and topics they care about, we open the door for English learners to develop their speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary, and content knowledge simultaneously.

How can we effectively scaffold and support English learners in accessing complex, knowledge-building texts that develop literacy and language skills? Find out in the online version of this Great Minds® webinar.

Sarah Webb

English Learner and Curriculum Support Specialist, Mad River Local Schools

Sarah Webb supports English learners and their teachers in Grades K–8 in Mad River Local Schools, outside Dayton, Ohio. She works directly with students in Grades 5–8 and helps develop the growing English learner program in her district. Her priorities are deepening teacher understanding of English learners’ strengths and needs and improving family engagement. Previously, Sarah taught Grades 3 and 4 for 10 years in both Ohio and Louisiana. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Tufts University and her master’s in literacy education from the University of Dayton.


Sarah Woodard

Assistant Director of Educational Partnerships, Great Minds

Sarah Woodard is the assistant director of educational partnerships for Great Minds’ top-rated English language arts curriculum, Wit & Wisdom®. She was a classroom teacher for many years before joining Great Minds to help develop knowledge-rich instructional materials. For Sarah, helping educators realize their goals for improving their students’ academic achievement is the most important and rewarding part of the job.


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